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Downtown State College Bar Bracket, Pt. 7: The Phyrst Reigns Supreme

In the Goliath versus Goliath final round, the Phyrst came away victorious against Cafe in the Downtown State College Bar Bracket. A tense battle until the end, when the dust finally cleared, the Phyrst had received 53.1 percent of the vote, the smallest margin of victory in this tournament. The final tally was predictably close, with the lead changing hands many times over the week. Both bars have proven themselves massively popular, even with very different atmospheres, but in the end the old Irish cellar would not be denied.

The Phyrst, situated on 111 E. Beaver Ave., is known for quite a few different things: Its signature drink, the Irish Trash Can, is one of the staples of downtown nightlife. Its unique decor, including a fire hydrant on the bar, stained glass windows, and, of course, the cowbell, make it stand out from just about any bar you’ll visit. Live music every night, two pool tables, $6 Yuengling pitchers at all times, and its famous happy hours all contribute to its legacy as well, which has been digitally cemented for all eternity. Now, you will just have to wait in line to get inside and celebrate.

The Phyrst’s Road to Victory (Winning percentages noted):

Phyrst vs. Corner Room: 81.3 percent
Phyrst vs. Kildare’s: 62.6 percent
Phyrst vs. Mad Mex: 67 percent
Phyrst vs. Shandygaff: 64 percent
Phyrst vs. Cafe 210 West: 53.1 percent

Total votes cast for the Phyrst: 6,677

An incredibly narrow margin of victory was expected in the final round. Even if you didn’t particularly love one of the competitors, your disdain for the other could certainly decide your vote. The outpouring of support from current regulars was strong, as the Phyrst garnered 55.3 percent of the student vote and 61.3 percent of the townie vote. Alumni, however, were more fond of Cafe. 51.9 percent of votes cast by alums went to the West College bar specializing in tea pitchers, skillet fries, and outdoor drinking. The turnout was split pretty closely between students and alumni, with the former accounting for 46.8 percent of the voting population, and the latter an even 42 percent. 8.6 percent of the vote came from townies, and another 2.6 came from those falling under the vast umbrella of “other.” When you dissect the numbers further, you’ll find the most common vote cast was a student selecting the Phyrst, with 25.9 percent of all ballots fitting that criteria, followed by an alumni voting for Cafe, with 21.8 percent.

Congratulations to the Phyrst on its win. In a rigorously-selected and seeded field of 32 establishments licensed to sell alcohol to willing patrons in the area, only one could come out on top, and this title is assuredly well-earned. Thank you all for participating in this endeavor. Because of you, we are now finally able to answer the question: “Which is Penn State’s favorite bar?”

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About the Author

Noel Purcell

Noel Purcell is Onward State's Features Editor. He's a senior Supply Chain major, but is going to law school at some point in the future and masquerades as a writer for now. He continues to disappoint his ancestors by being a complete Irish stereotype. His email is [email protected] because there were no other Noels before him. His ex-wife got the good half of his bio in the divorce settlement.

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